tv Politics Nation MSNBC March 3, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
nebraska, ben gotschall with us tonight. appreciate your time. thank you forbe joining us. that is "the ed show." "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, ed. good evening, ed. and thanks to you for tuning on. i'm live tonight from miami. tonight's lead, the gop's poor judgment. today congressman paul ryan unveiled an amaze anything report on poverty that reads like a battle plan for attacking the poor. surprise, surprise. he blames the safety net, accusing welfare and social programs for making poverty worse. the report goes after medicaid. quote, medicaid patients use the emergency room inappropriately. he goes after the food stamp program known as s.n.a.p. quote, s.n.a.p. discourages work
among female-headed households. it goes after head start. quote, the head start program as a whole is failing to prepare children for school. so the big takeaway, let's help the poor by attacking programs that help the poor? the report also goes after poor families themselves. citing the breakdown of the family as the root factor. quote, perhaps the single most important determinant of poverty is family structure. and it continues. poverty is most concentrated among broken families. look. everybody knows that family stability is significant. but this has become a bizarre trend on the right. >> the truth is that the greatest tool to lift people, to lift children and families from poverty is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82%.
but it isn't a government program. it's called marriage. >> the war on poverty will not be won as long as the value of marriage is diminished. >> the fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is the highest. >> so the cure for poverty is to get married? it doesn't add up. and neither does ryan's attack on the safety net. president obama has a different vision in the fight for fairness. >> they think we should drastically reduce or eliminate the safety net for a lot of people. it's a theory they expounded in the run-up to the crisis in 2008. just because this theory has a history, doesn't mean it should have a future. it's time to retire this theory.
>> 50 years after the war on poverty began, the country has taken great strides. but there is much work left to do. and going backwards by cutting programs and attacking poor families won't help. joining me now are congressman jim mcdermott, democrat of washington, and salon.com's joan walsh. thank you both for being here. >> thanks, rev. >> it's good to be here. >> congressman mcdermott, this gop report blames poverty on the safety net, and on family structure. give me your take on this. >> well, as usual, paul ryan's running in the wrong direction. the american people know that it's what you're paid when you work that makes you get out of poverty. and as long as we don't raise the minimum wage, we're not going to get people out of poverty. a little town in washington,
seatac, voted by public vote to raise to it $15. all over the country, suddenly there is an explosion of people recognizing that people who are paid well are not in poverty. we haven't raised the minimum wage. you can work as hard as you want at a minimum wage job and you're still in poverty. so you have to do something about the minimum wage. that's why the president's going forward with this. and unless paul ryan figures out which way the country is moving, he is going to be left in the dust. >> you know, joan, when you look at the fact that here is what congressman ryan said today. look at this first. this is what he said about the findings in his own report. >> yes. >> he says there are nearly 100 programs at the federal level that are meant to help. but they have actually created a poverty trap. this is what ryan says.
but a landmark study found the safety net has helped millions of people. in 1967, the poverty rate stood at 26%. by 2012, the poverty rate had dropped down to 16%. now the level is still way too high. >> right. >> but how is this a poverty trap, joan? >> you know, the only poverty trap here, reverend al, is the trap of reporters going back to paul ryan again and again and again and coming out and telling us paul ryan cares about the poor. it's a new paul ryan. he's got a new plan, when it's the same old warmed over reaganism. reagan told a terrible lie, that we fought a war on poverty and poverty won. it wasn't true back in 1980. it's not true now. we did help people. now, i want to give him credit for a couple of things. one is there are a lot of poverty programs. and you and i and the congressman all know they aren't coordinated as well as they could be. and democrats have tried for a very long time, and this
president is trying now through the federal bureaucracy to coordinate them and bring them together and create a web of surfaces around poor families in need, and do really important things that republicans block again and again. they also, as the congressman said, the best thing we could do right this minute, if you and i could weave a wand, one thing we could do is raise the minimum wage to $10.10. that lifts almost a million people out of poverty. tomorrow. we could do it tomorrow. let's have partnership on that. no, we can't do that. now we have people saying let's do away with the minimum wage entirely. they are trying toe are peel the 20th century. not the 20th, the 21st century. >> i think that's the point, congressman. we're not defending a program. >> no. >> that may have not been effective or abused. they are trying to wipe away the whole idea top safety net. we're not talking about a particular program. >> right. >> we're talking about the idea of government helping those in the country that need help. and many of those in the broad
context, if you talk about medicaid and food stamps and all have been the difference between some people surviving or not that worked hard in this country. >> you know, al, there is a program called the earned income tax credit. that is if you work, you get tax credits that will lift you up. now, if paul ryan were serious and he wanted to make the earned income tax credit lift people out of poverty, he could find some support for us giving up some other things that are floating around that are sort of patchwork trying to do that. you have to have a certain amount of money or you are in poverty. and you either get it through the job you get or you get some kind of help from the government. and when it comes to feeding your kids and putting a roof over their house and not living in your car, it takes money. that's what he refuses to accept. >> right. now, today's report goes after food stamps as well, joan.
>> right. >> and this is a theme republicans have hit on before. in attacking the president. listen to this. >> food stamps versus paychecks. obama is the best food stamp president in american history. >> when he says obama is the food stamp president, which by the way he is. >> lottery winners, multimillion-dollar lottery winners are getting food stamps. >> on economic policy, he has doubled the number of people on food stamps. >> much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops. >> but the study shows that food stamps actually help lift families out of poverty. in 2012, food stamps lifted 4.9 million people from poverty, including, joan, 2.2 million children. >> yes. i mean, food stamps go to children. they go to elderly people. they good to veterans. i mean, dick cheney is talking about spending money on the
military, but is ignoring the veterans and active military personnel are disproportionately now relying on food stamps. this is not something that president obama caused. even under president bush there was a sense that the recession was causing people to need food. and we did increase eligibility. and that was a good thing. this is also a stimulative thing we can do for the economy. the money that we put into the food stamp program immediately goes into grocery stores and goes into vendors' pockets and keeps kids healthier. so it's a crazy thing to attack. but they've been on this kick for a long time. ronald reagan took it back to our friend, talked about the young bucks buying t-bone steaks with food stamps. and we all know what he was talking about there. this is kind of coded language that they have used for a long time. and it really genuinely hurts people, reverend al. >> you know, the president unveiled his 2015 budget tomorrow, congressman mcdermott, and is expected to call for no
cuts to social security, universal prekindergarten education, investment in job training and manufacturing hubs, and closing corporate tax loopholes. that's a much different projection than what mr. ryan has come out with. >> that's a view for the 21st century, al. ryan is looking back to the 1900s when people were serfs. but he doesn't want to look at what the president is doing. he won't even give that bill a hearing, i guarantee you. >> it's true. >> congressman jim mcdermott and joan walsh, i'm going to have to leave it there. thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks, rev. >> good night. coming up, where is the unity? in the face of an international crisis in russia, some on the right are attacking the president. shouldn't politics stop at the water's edge? plus, why might marissa
alexander get 60 years in prison for a warning shot? i'm in florida tonight where calls are growing to repeal the shoot first stand your ground law. plus, historic night. "12 years a slave" brings home the oscar for best picture. and a star is born. why it was groundbreaking. and a moment of pride. stay with us. ♪ [ girl ] my mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. ♪ she can print amazing things, right from her computer. [ whirring ] [ train whistle blows ] she makes trains that are friends with trees. ♪ my mom works at ge. ♪
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here in florida there is new outrage tonight over a case that has helped expose the gross injustice and unfairness of the state's stand your ground law. the news today involves marissa alexander, the florida mother who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she says was a warning shot at her abusive husband. >> i believe when he threatened to kill me, that's what he was going to do. that's exactly what he intended to do. and had i not discharged my weapon at that point, i would not be here.
this is my life i'm fighting for. this is my life. and it's life. it is not entertainment. it is my life. >> marissa alexander was denied the same stand your ground defense that many others have received. what she was separated from her kids, and she was sent to prison. she finally got some good news last fall when an appeals court ordered a new trial. but now a stunning announcement from her prosecutor. state attorney angela corey says she'll try to put marissa alexander in prison for 60 years. 60 years. that's triple alexander's original sentence. it's essentially a life sentence if she is convicted at this upcoming trial. so marissa alexander fires a warning shot. no one is hurt, and she faces 60 years in prison? while others have shot and
killed and are walking free today. where is the justice in that? . >> joining me now is lisa bloom, legal analyst for the "today" show and avo.com, and the author of "suspicion nation: the inside story of the trayvon martin injustice and why we continue to repeat it." thank you for being here, lisa. >> thank you, reverend al. >> lisa, how can angela corey try to put marissa alexander behind bars for 60 years when she was originally sentenced to just 20? >> this is another outrage from angela corey's office. there seems to be a series of blunders going on there. first the zimmerman came, and then the michael dunn case and now this. she seems completely tone deaf to what the community is saying which is marissa alexander probably should not be behind
bars at all if the next jury finds this was a self-defense situation. even if it wasn't self-defense, even if the jury finds that she fired to scare her husband off, her allegedly abusive ex-husband off, 20 years is so far out of keeping with any sense of proportionality when no one else was hurt. and now she wants to triple that to 60 years? i mean, this is really shocking. >> no, it's shocking and i happen to be in florida today. and when you look at the fact that we're just dealing with no conviction in the murder counts on jordan davis' killing where he died. a 17-year-old kid, trayvon martin, 17-year-old kid died, no conviction. and this young lady convicted, sentenced to 20 years. the court of appeals said the judge didn't charge the jury right. now she is going to be retried facing 60 years. the contrast couldn't be more striking and shocking. >> well, that's right.
and as you point out, the most important factor in this case is that nobody, thank goodness, was harmed. neither her husband, neither her husband's children, or anybody else. it was simply the wall that was harmed. the wall that the bullet went into. now, i'm not a fan of people firing off guns in the middle of altercations. but this was self-defense, that is a complete defense. and she makes a pretty good story for self-defense. but if the jury says otherwise, so be it. 20 years behind bars that she points out, effectively a life sentence if it goes up to 60 years, when no one was harmed, and there is no question that her husband has a history of abuse against her. >> congresswoman corrine brown actually confronted angela corey, the prosecutor, who also happened to be the prosecutor in the case around jordan davis and trayvon martin. yet she is the prosecutor of marissa alexander. watch this and give me your reaction, lisa. >> in this case, i understand what could have happened.
>> yes, ma'am. >> but it did not happen. it did not happen. and so all we was asking and all the community is asking for is mercy and justice. >> congresswoman, i showed her mercy when i sat down with her, we offered her -- >> 20 years is not even justice. >> so that was in 2012, right after the case with marissa alexander and angela cory standing there being cold fronf by the congresswoman. >> very few cases get to judges. about 95% of cases end in plea bargains. so since prosecutors decide who to charge, what to charge them with, and whether to offer a plea bargain or not. and we can see here, this extraordinary abuse of power where angela corey is now threatening 60 years behind bars
to a woman who fired a gun in a warning shot and no one was harmed. i think that is an abuse of power. and i think angela corey needs to remember that she is answerable to the public. she is a public official. her salary is paid with tax dollars, and she is clearly not acting in a way that is in keeping with what the community wants her to do. >> you know, it's not just the stand your ground law, and certainly we have a lot of concerns about that. but the sentencing structure that is unfair. the florida times union reports that, quote, the florida supreme court is expected to take up the issue of whether florida law requires multiple 10 to 20 life sentences to be consecutive, while the first district has ruled that judges must make sentences consecutive, other appellate courts in florida have said judges can impose sentences concurrently. that there is not even an agreement on how the sentence
should be imposed, lisa. >> well, that's right. and this is very important, because if she is convicted of three counts and they're served concurrently, then three 20-count sentences is still just 20 years. but if they're consecutively, then it's 60 years. you know, the bottom line, reverend al, let's call this what it is. it's vindictiveness on the part of the prosecutor's office because marissa alexander had the gall to support her rights and go up on an appeal and get an appellate court to reverse it. now it's back down. and now she is looking at triple the sentence that is not appropriate for the prosecutors to do, to behave that way towards someone who has simply been exercising her legal rights and fighting for freedom. >> and where are all the stand your ground supporters in the state of florida when it comes to marissa alexander? i see all of us rallying against stand your ground. i don't see a lot of people that want to stand your ground for her. >> that's right. >> but we'll continue to follow
this case closely. lisa, thank you for your time tonight. and thank you for your great book. >> thank you so much. still ahead, in the face of an international crisis, some republicans are attacking the president's ukraine strategy as feckless and weak. and how can they say he is too strong and too weak at the same time? but first, smile, darrell issa. your blatant disregard of the facts has made you the lucky recipient of tonight's got you, next. in the nation...
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scandal for the obama administration. his favorite claim is that the military was told to stand down and not try to help on the night of the attacks. >> i have my suspicions, which is secretary clinton told them to stand down. and we all heard about the military border for two military personnel that order is undeniable. >> that order is undeniable. actually, it's completely deniable. because it didn't happen. "the washington post" fact checker gave that claim four pinocchios, and a republican report from the house armed services committee said, quote, there was no stand-down order issued to u.s. military personnel. so now congressman issa has some explaining to do. and he is not doing it very well. >> but to be honest, you do not
have any evidence that secretary clinton told leon panetta to stand down. >> well, the use in answering questions in a political fundraiser, that was in response to a question, the term "stand-down" is not used in some sort of an explicit way, but rather the failure to react. >> so the stand-down order wasn't explicit? meaning it was never actually an order at all? meaning it never happened? interesting. let's watch issa dig himself into that hole a little deeper. >> not maybe on the technical terms of stand down, soldier, but on what the american people believe is a failure to respond when they could have. >> so the stand-down order wasn't given on technical terms, or it wasn't explicit?
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♪ every night, all night cheesesteak, cheesesteak! ♪ ♪ 9 a.m. cheesesteak! ♪ 2 p.m. cheesesteak! ♪ 4 a.m. cheesesteak! ♪ any time (ruh!) >>geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. tonight president obama is facing a major new international crisis. this time in ukraine. just this weekend, russian troops invaded part of the country. there are reports that russian forces have threatened a full-scale assault unless ukrainian warships surrender. with that in mind, today president obama gave russian president vladimir putin an ultimatum. stand down or face the consequences. >> i think the strong condemnation that it's received from countries around the world indicates the degree to which russia is on the wrong side of
history on this. over time, this will be a costly proposition for russia. and now is the time for them to consider whether they can serve their interests in a way that resorts in diplomacy as opposed to force. >> and it could prove costly for russia. secretary of state john kerry says all options are on the table -- economic sanctions, bans on visas for russians seeking travel to the u.s. even freezing of russian assets held abroad. but none of that is enough for the gop. it used to be said politics ends at the water's edge, but republicans couldn't stop themselves from attacking the president's strategy. >> this is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in america's strength anymore. >> i think putin is playing chess, and i think we're playing
marbles. and i don't think it's even close. so if you look at the nuclear negotiations, we got our fannies handed to us. >> every time the president goes on national television and threatens putin or anyone like putin, everybody's eyes roll, including mine. we have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression. >> the president invites aggression? he is feckless, weak? no. what is weak is the gop's inability to put politics aside. even at a time like this. joining me now is james peterson and dana milbank. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> hi, reverend. >> thanks, rev. >> dana, let me start with you. what happened to politics ending at water's edge? >> well, that hasn't been the case now for a decade or two. i think what is astounding about this, though, just last week we
were hearing about how this president is a tyrant and a dictator and a bully. and all of the sudden he is a weakling. i'm kind of curious how he can be both things at the same time. it probably says more about his accusers than it does about the president. one president can't lurch from one extreme to the other to the other as he goes from domestic affairs to foreign affairs. thing is just such an antipathy towards this president, whatever he is doing it is wrong in the extreme at that moment. >> you know, james, le me go into a little deeper into what dana is saying. because for the past month we've been hearing a much different attack from the right on the president. listen to this. >> look, in america, we don't have a king. and the reality is that that house belongs to the people. >> my next guest has decided to stand up to king obama. >> i'm afraid that president obama may have this king complex sort of developing. >> he has all of the earmarks of a marxist dictator.
he does. he doesn't like anybody to challenge him. >> did you happen to see the size of those flags behind obama? those flags are getting bigger and bigger and bigger every speech he makes. and you know, that's what dictators do. >> he was a dictator. he was a king. he was operating with too much power. even the big flags. but now he is weak. he is feckless. i mean, how do they flip the script that fast, james? >> well, it just shows the arbitrary nature with which republicans are prepared to try to critique this president. they're looking for any opportunity to try to become critical of him. and making sense of rationale does not apply here, rev. they're just looking for any opportunity. the reality is when you look at the situation in ukraine and what putin is doing this current moment, it seems like he is moving more from a space of weakness, right? he is exasperated with what has taken place in ukraine, the overthrow of the former president there, the activism around trying to have a more
democratic sort of policy take place and a more democratic nation in ukraine. those are the things putin is responding to. the president is right here. we don't need to be threatening war or making some kind of boots on the ground intervention internationally. it's an international crisis. let the international community deal with it through sanctions and the last thing we need in this world is another war. >> yeah, you know, dana, you wrote in your column that republicans would criticize the president even if he offered specific threats. quoting you, you say suppose obama were willing to draw red lines and back them up with military might? inevitably, he would be accused of trying to distract from obamacare or other domestic troubles. >> well, reverend, look. it is certainly fair if somebody wants to get up and say this president is not being forceful enough with ukraine right now.
but it's then incumbent on them to say okay, what's your alternative? and nobody, certainly not marco rubio or john mccain, nobody is talking about use of force in this situation. and when you scratch down below the surface and say what are they asking him to do, it's basically the same set of options that president obama has put on the table. that's true, he didn't draw a specific red line. but when he drew a specific red line, you heard about what the complaints were in syria, that he wasn't backing up that specific red line. and of course if he does actually take an aggressive posture, well, then clearly he is just trying to distract attention from obama care. he is damned if he does and he is damned if he doesn't. if you're going to make a criticism of the president policy on this, that's fair. but let's hear what the alternative is. >> but, you know, james, what is stunning to me is the right wing media has actually praised putin recently for his -- i say mishandling, but his handling of syria, and anti-gay issues. they've said, let me quote them.
vladimir putin is the one who really deserves that nobel peace prize. one right wing commentator praised his moral compass on anti-gay policies. another has said there is validity to his claim that the u.s. is godless. we even have gop congressmen dana rohrabacher saying in a recent interview that putin is being, quote, demonized, and he doesn't support russia's military action, but, quote, that doesn't mean putin and pro-russia forces in ukraine are in the wrong. i mean, can you imagine a democratic or president obama saying such a thing, james? >> not at all. and if the table turned with the republican president, you had a democratic critic making those kind of statements, they would be labeled as being unpatriotic. but let's be clear here. president putin's leadership in
terms of working aga lgbt community in its own nation is deplorable and certainly reflects the absence of a moral compass that n this particular time frame. and he was pushed to the table with syria. remember, there were people in the republican party who wanted to go to war with syria. they wanted to make boots on the ground interventions in syria. it was a president and secretary john kerry who worked with putin to figure out way to now reduce chemical weapons in syria to the lowest levels they've been in the past decade. i think we just have to have a reality check here, rev, and that's a difficult thing for our friends in the republican party. >> but we're dealing with in the ukraine, dana, with very serious matters that could escalate. hopefully not. just as we've dealt with syria's international matters from syria to egypt, on and on. isn't there some kind of patriotic duty to when the nation is facing something on an
international level, that we put our partisan feelings aside and say wait a minute, let's at least give the president some room to deal with this in a way that is in american interests, unless you feel he has blatantly put americans' lives at risk like some of us disagreed with iraq or iran. here there has been no real engagement by this president like that. >> no. and the whole notion of politics stopping at the water's edge has been in retreat for a long time. certainly in a case like this where american troops aren't directly involved, you almost don't even expect it from the start, that it is just inevitable that in our system now, it's just accepted that this is going to be what has happened. look, putin has had a love-hate relationship with american presidents going back some time to the time when george w. bush looked into his soul and saw somebody he could deal with. he was obviously wrong with that. this administration's attempt to
reset russian relations obviously hasn't gotten anywhere. and i suspect that some of these sympathetic views that you just cited among conservative commentators will now need a reset of their own. james peterson, dana milbank, i'm going to leave there it. thanks for coming on the program tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> thanks, reverend. coming up, "12 years a slave" makes history at last night's oscars. why we should celebrate history, but keep on looking forward. and what was jimmy fallon doing with rahm emanuel over the weekend? stay with us. right? uh-huh. yes! well, i found this new thing called... [ dennis' voice ] allstate quickfoto claim. [ normal voice ] it's an app. you understand that? just take photos of the damage with your phone and upload them to allstate. really? so you get [dennis' voice] a quicker estimate, quicker payment, [normal voice] quicker back to normal. i just did it. but maybe you can find an app that will help you explain this to your...father. [ vehicle approaches ]
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ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial. it's always hollywood's biggest night. but this year's oscars also made history. with "12 years a slave" winning best picture, it's the first movie made by a black director to win the film industry's top honor. based on the true story of solomon northrup, a free man from new york who was kidnapped in 1841 and spent 12 years in slavery before regaining his freedom. director steve mcqueen credited northrup's legacy in his acceptance speech. >> everyone deserves not just to survive but to live. this is the most important legacy of solomon northrup.
i dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. . >> this award is a huge occasion for everyone who pushes for greater representation in hollywood. and the film's breakout star is 31-year-old lupita nyong'o. "12 years a slave" was her first movie, and she also went home last night with an oscar after this inspiring speech. >> thank you to the academy for this incredible recognition. it doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. and so i want to salute the spirit of patsy for her guidance and for solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own. when i look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid.
thank you. >> we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality. but we can all take pride in that speech and that film. joining me now are chris witherspoon, entertainment editor for thegrio.com and angela rye. thank you both for being here. >> thanks, rev. >> i want to hear from both of you. start with chris. what was your takeaway from last night, your biggest moment? >> my biggest moment was the win for "12 years a slave." i think that people from the beginning of this film circuit this time around were hailing "12 years a slave" as the big winner for the oscar. and around like last month, we began hearing people saying "gravity" was all of the sudden going to win this film or win the big award. and "12 years a slave," i think it proved that it is a tale for the ages. "gravity" was groundbreaking, but "12 years a slave" has this heartbreaking story that really pullious in. i interviewed the cast in
october. i told them. i told lupita this film will be the best picture. and i guarantee you will be nominated for oscars. they were so humble, and they've carried themselves with such grace throughout this awards season. so it was great to see. this. >> angela? >> well, rev, i think that "12 years a slave" was major, but i also really enjoyed bette midler's performance of "wind beneath my wings." it means something very special to my family. i had a cousin who died of aids-related complications when i was in the seventh grade. and this song really got us through. and on the "12 years a slave" part, i think it's important to acknowledge that yes we have come quite a long way. but i was tweeting last night that we still are not post-racial, even though we have clearly made some major strides. >> yeah, i wrote that column today myself. but we're talking about the awards. but let's talk about the movie. here is a clip of lupita nyong'o in "12 years a slave."
>> i went to master charles' plantation. >> you admit it? >> yes, freely. and you know why? i got this from mistress shaw. won't even grant me so much to clean with. i stink so much i make myself gag. 500,000 pounds of cotton day in, day out. more than any man here. and for that i will be clean. that's all i ask. and this here what i went to shaw's for. >> angela, such a powerful performance. i mean, what do you make of her win and the movie's win? >> well, a couple of things. one is i think for her to say that she had to honor the spirit of patsy, who she played in the movie and solomon northrup, i can not imagine what these folks endured, particularly solomon northrup, who was a free man.
and to almost lose his family, all of the things we went through in this movie that we kind of experience on this journey, it was so hard to watch. i mean, we've seen slavery movie after slavery movie. but this one had particular impact because you think about all of the folks who may be enslaved or in bondage in some other way, rev, whether now it's economics or human trafficking that we saw steve mcqueen mention last night. so it's a major film. and i'm so glad it got the recognition that it was due. >> chris, last night you tweeted lupita nyong'o just became the seventh black woman to win an oscar, exactly 75 years after hattie mcdaniel became the first. oprah even retweeted what you had sent out. why does it strike such a chord? >> first off, oprah, if you're watching, thanks for retweeting that. but i got to say, it's amazing. 75 years later, lupita nyong'o's story is so amazing. it's really just -- it brings
you in. and i think that oprah was nominated for an academy award in 1986. she didn't win for "the color purple." she better than anyone knows how important it is for a black actress, a black woman like lupita nyong'o to win this award. she is the seventh woman after whoopie goldberg, halle berry, hattie mcdaniel 75 years ago, monique octavious spencer. and i think she stands among great women. i can't wait to see what she does next in the film world. >> let's talk about the biggest moment during the oscars. i'm talking about the selfie. let's watch. >> bradley? i want you in it. jennifer, come in also. brad, get in here. >> i'll take it. >> no, i'm doing it. >> angie? lupita. >> wait a minute. >> mayeryl? can you take it?
i can't get everybody in here. >> this is my armpit. >> my arm. >> my arm's definitely better. >> look at us! >> nice! >> oh, yes! >> now it's got more retweets than president obama's four more years tweet on election day. angela, what's your reaction? >> well, rev, i think it's great that they were able to get so much participation. it was a great way to involve social media. if that picture could speak for the diversity of the academy, wouldn't we have made great strides? but not so much. but congrats to ellen on a great selfie portrait with so many great faces in there. >> and chris, i see that lupita's little brother snuck in there. that boy got skills. he got in the picture. >> yeah, he did. and, you know, the records have just been released this oscar awards hit a ten-year high.
43.10 million viewers. i think ellen had it right with bringing in social media, and it paid off. >> all right, chris witherspoon and angela rye, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks, rev. still ahead, the republican governor whose under fire for a blatant attack on voting rights. it's time to fight back. but first, jimmy fallon's popular plunge for a good cause. stay with us. [ female announcer ] late night? crazy morning? try new olay fresh effects dew over gel moisturizer to wake up skin with a burst of cool hydration, with a hint of powder to help absorb oil for instant beauty sleep, no sleep required. new fresh effects from olay.
jimmy fallon and rahm emanuel took the plunge, and this was not in "the tonight show" host job description. jimmy accepted a plunge and a challenge from chicago mayor rahm emanuel to jump into lake michigan yesterday. it was a fundraiser for the special olympics. fallon stayed true to his promise, despite it being 10 degrees outside and 32 in the water. but it was for a good cause. way to go, jimmy.
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at the white house watching president obama get personal, announcing his my brother's keeper initiative for young men of color. but challenges still exist today. in ohio, governor kasich just signed three voter suppression bills into law. he did it quietly, and without public ceremony. the bills eliminated early voting period called golden week, ended same-day registration, and put new limits on absentee ballots. the cleveland plain dealer calls the bills a shameful assault on voting rights. quote, voters are supposed to pick governments. governments aren't supposed to pick voters. so even as i see these moments of celebration, even as we have these flashes that show how far we have come, it should not stop us from continuing the rest of the journey. let us not forget that president
obama in the white house or lupita winning an oscar is a result of struggles, not the end of struggles. and whether it's blacks or latinos or gays or women, we must continue to fight until equality is a reality. the fact that we have these moments of victory only means no matter how difficult the struggles continue to be, the victory is certain if we continue the struggle and not stop just at momentary victories. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. the hawks are flying. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. let me start tht